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Character Sketches #6: Rocket Raccoon and Cosmo the Psychic Commie Dog

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ImageWhat’s better than animals in comics? How about talking animals? Not quite? How about animals that can blow shit up? Yeah, that’s what I thought.  Funnily enough, the new (and quite fantastic) Guardians of the Galaxy series by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning (with pictures by Paul Pelletier) has not one, but two talking animals appearing regularly in this spin-off of Annihilation: Conquest. While Rocket Raccoon’s been around the block for a bit, Cosmo the Psychic Commie Dog is a new addition to the chatty four-legged members of the Marvel family.

 

Cosmo was first introduced to the Marvel Universe in a little book called Nova when Richard Rider became embroiled in the Phalanx Conquest and fled to the edge of the universe in an attempt to escape agents of the Phalanx. Nova ended up in Knowhere, a community located in the severed head of a giant Celestial. After running around for a little while, Nova came face to face with a dog in a Soviet spacesuit: enter Cosmo, the Psychic Commie Dog.

Cosmo was originally a test subject in the Soviet space program whose ship was somehow transported to Knowhere while in orbit. At some point during that time Cosmo gained sentience, as well as highly advanced telepathic and telekinetic powers. Hence, Cosmo the Psychic Commie Dog.

 

 

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Cosmo, The Psychic Commie Dog

 

 

 

Cosmo now plays an important role as liaison to the newly formed Guardians of the Galaxy, providing them with resources and access to Knowhere’s Continuum Cortex, a powerful transporter that can instantly teleport the team anywhere in the galaxy, not to mention a good hand to have in a fight. Cosmo is a golden retriever/Labrador mix.

And now, for Knowhere’s other resident talking furball: Rocket Raccoon! Rocket first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #271 in a story appropriately titled “Now Somewhere In the Black Holes of Sirius Major There Lived a Young Boy Named Rocket Raccoon.” Named after a certain song by a certain band of British guys with mop tops, Rocket started out his heroic career as a guardian and security officer protecting an abandoned colony of mental patients against any potential threats. This asylum colony was staffed by many other animals who had been genetically altered to a more human-like state, walking on two legs and, yes, talking! These animals apparently came from a place called Halfworld, a planet that was populated on one half by talking animals and on the other by robots. Yeah, it’s wonky, but it was the eighties. What do you expect?

 

 

 

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Rocket Raccoon

 

 

 

The next time Rocket showed up, it was in the recent Annihilation: Conquest – Star Lord miniseries as an inmate in a Kree prison. He joined Star Lord in his fight to free the Kree from the Phalanx, bringing his own special knowledge to the fight against the conquest. This knowledge was deep and varied, and like anything awesome involves a lot of blowing shit up. Yes, Rocket became the resident weapons and demolition expert, and continues to use big-ass guns and bombs to save the universe as a member of Star Lord’s new team, the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Obviously these guys are kind of awesome. In answering the question of “how can we make animals cooler” (A: by giving them machine guns and super psychic powers) Rocket Raccoon and Cosmo the Dog will always have a special place in my pull list.

 

Just a Few of Rocket’s Appearances:

 

Incredible Hulk #271: “Now Somewhere In the Black Holes of Sirius Major There

Lived a Young Boy Named Rocket Raccoon”

Marvel Age #25

Rocket Raccoon #1 – #4

Annihilation: Conquest: Prologue

Annihilation: Conquest – Star-Lord #1 – #4

Annihilation: Conquest #2 – 6

Guardians of the Galaxy (Current volume, all issues to date)

 

All of Cosmo’s Appearances:

 

Nova # 8-9

Guardians of the Galaxy (Current volume, all issues to date)

 

Author: Danny Lewis, Special to CC2K

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